Morrow Makes Formal Contempt Motion, Votes "Aye"
6/28/01 - Print Version
Contact: Wade Teasdale 916-445-3731
This afternoon Senator Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside) made the formal motion and then voted to hold two giant energy firms in contempt of legislative subpoenas.
The contempt finding against Enron and Mirant was made by the California Senate’s Select Committee to Investigate Price Manipulation of the Wholesale Energy Market. The committee is charged with determining whether and how market participants acted improperly to drive up the Golden State’s electricity prices during the past year.
“This finding is based solely on the failure of these firms to provide any documents in response to months-old subpoenas issued by the Senate for documents,” said Morrow, whose 38th Senate District encompasses northwest San Diego County and southern Orange County. “Prior to today, no firm had provided any document requested by the committee.”
“It is not an indication of the culpability of these firms in the state’s ongoing energy crisis. However, it is an indication that these firms have refused to help the committee determine their degree of culpability,” added the senator.
Six energy firms just escaped being included in the contempt citation. Duke, Reliant, Williams, NRG and AES were exempted by amendment from the original motion as the committee hearing progressed. Two firms avoided being held in contempt by delivering thousands of documents to the committee’s offices even as the committee worked publicly in a hearing room elsewhere in the State Capitol Building. Several others agreed to immediately begin establishing a document depository near the Capitol.
Morrow said, “On July 10th the committee will meet again. We’ll vote on whether or not to send the finding to the full Senate on how to sanction the firms for noncompliance with the subpoenas.”